Peter Hoskin

Labour’s blunt knives

Labour's blunt knives
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According to the Observer, and a slew of other papers, "senior Labour figures are believed to have put their leader on a timer to 'up his game' in the next few months if he is to avoid a full-blown leadership crisis later this year." Which reminded me of all this:

20 April, 2008

"The Prime Minister, who is battling a growing rebellion over his abolition of the 10p tax rate, has been given until the end of the summer to turn things round by backbenchers angry at a string of image and policy failures." (here)

24 May, 2008

"It is that Mr Brown be given until the end of July to prove himself and restore morale. If by then things have not improved, ministers, MPs and influential figures in the unions believe the only solution may be to send a delegation of his closest political friends – perhaps including Ed Balls, the Education Secretary, and Douglas Alexander, the International Development Secretary – to urge him to go." (here)

20 August, 2008

"Even some of his cabinet critics appear ready to accept that Mr Brown should be allowed a final opportunity to revive his fortunes by unveiling an economic plan next month to help people struggling to cope with rising fuel, food and housing costs in the downturn. But they intend to force him out if his fightback flops and he fails to rally Labour at its Manchester conference." (here)

28 August, 2008

"Gordon Brown is to be given until November to save his premiership as Cabinet ministers offer him 'one last chance' to improve Labour's fortunes, it has emerged" (here)

21 September, 2008

"Gordon Brown has been given until next June by senior Cabinet ministers to prove himself capable of saving Labour from a general election meltdown or face being unseated." (here)

9 June, 2009

"...even though Brown has defied his tormentors yet again he is much more vulnerable than he was even a week ago. He will get the space to continue until the autumn. If he makes no headway in the polls between now and then, he will not lead Labour in to the next election and, I suspect, would not try to do so." (here)

28 September, 2009

"Labour rebel Alan Simpson says that another challenge to Gordon Brown's leadership is 'almost a given ....  Unless things change by Christmas it's almost a given that there will be some sort of challenge.'" (here)

Not that this means Labour MPs won't wield, and use, their knives this time round, of course. One factor that could steady their hands and sharpen their blades is the presence of an alternative leader whom most of them voted for in the first place. But the fact remains that — outside of, erm, Ed Miliband, Ed Balls and the other Sons of Brown — Labour aren't too familiar with this regicide business.